Never live above your means! Always live above your circumstances!
When I took a month long mission trip to Malawi, called the Warm Heart of Africa, I encountered the happiest people I had ever met.
Malawi is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world. In Malawi people still live in mud huts, walk barefoot, do not always know when they will have their next meal, lack clean water, and have a short life expectancy. Yet they were the happiest people I every met.
Genuine happiness belongs to those who live above the circumstances.
How do you live above your circumstances? Find your joy in heaven and live with faith, hope, and love.” These are “the treasures of heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:20)
My friend Earl lived 15 years bedfast, unable to do anything for himself. Yet he radiated pure happiness, deep joy, and love to every person he met, 24/7. He lived a bountiful life.
My friend Kitty fought cancer for 20 years, but no one ever knew. She spent her years caring for and encouraging others. No one never heard a peep of complaint from her.
Earl and Kitty often put me to shame, when I listen to my whining while enjoying good wine.
People who live joy-full lives in the midst of poverty and difficulty learn to live above their circumstances.
Those of us who live blessed lives often dig around our circumstances, looking for one difficulty to bring our whole house down. We depress ourselves in the midst of God’s blessings.
Instead of lifting our eyes up to the Lord in gratitude, we look down at the stormy waves of the sea and flood our hearts with worry and despair.
Jesus had it all in heaven, yet chose to empty himself, by taking the form of a servant (Philippians 2:7) Then, when He knew His enemies would soon betray, arrest, and crucify Him, “He washed His disciples feet! (John 13:5)
Jesus never let circumstances affect His spirit.
Neither did my friends Earl and Kitty nor those in Malawi. They chose to live above their circumstances. They chose to live with faith, hope, and love finding their joy in heaven.